How Do Bed Bug Bites Heal
How Long do Bed Bug Bites Last – When Will They Heal
People who have suffered from bed bug bites know how painful and itchy these can be. Naturally, the question foremost on their minds is how to heal the bed bug bites faster? In this guide, we shall study a few methods of preventing, treating and healing bed bug bites quickly. We will also study a few efficient ways of getting rid of the bed bugs to prevent further bites.
How long do bed bug bites last and what are the symptoms?
Bed bug bites typically heal within a week to 10 days, depending on how sensitive one is to them. In fact; some lucky people may have been bitten by these pests, but they do not experience any symptoms at all! Those that are hypersensitive to most insect bites may experience following symptoms:
- Itchy skin, red welts or bumps
- Rash in the form of clusters
- Bite marks that are straight or grouped together typically under the edge of tight fitting clothing on arms and legs or also on the neck, back or other exposed parts of the body.
An indication of bed bug infestation is the presence of their discarded exoskeletons and fecal matter in the form of rust colored stains on bedding and mattresses. An offensive almond like smell may also be present in some cases.
Preventing bed bugs
Everyone deserves a good night’s rest in order to function properly the next morning. Hence, the last thing you’d want is to awaken from bed bug bites. Preventing bed bugs is the best solution for this problem. This can be done as follows:
- Vacuuming the carpets regularly
- Never picking up second hand furniture, bedding or discarded mattresses from the curbside.
- Inspecting rooms thoroughly for signs of bed bugs when staying in hotels. As stated above, you will notice red stains and discarded skin on beds and mattresses, especially around the corners of the bedding.
If you suspect an infestation at home, you must promptly call a professional pest control company to handle it immediately. For very large infestations too, it is best to enlist the services of professionals in order to make sure that the eggs, larvae and adult bed bugs are completely eliminated. Failure to do so will lead to re-infestation. It is also important to discard infested items carefully by sealing them in bags which have been pretreated with flea powders or other bed bug repellents.
Treating bed bug bites
Bed bug bites must not be ignored. Scratching the site of bite can even lead to secondary skin infections which are harder to treat.
- See a doctor to identify if the rash is from bed bug bites. There are many skin conditions or allergic reactions to products which can sometimes produce similar rashes.
- To prevent infections, apply benzoly peroxide or rubbing alcohol on the rash.
- An effective home remedy for soothing the pain and itchiness from bed bug bites is applying a mixture of baking soda and water directly on the rash. (Leave the paste on the rash for at least half an hour and then wash it off.)
- Many natural soothing lotions and creams containing Calendula, aloe vera etc can also give relief from pain, swelling and itching.
It is important to get rid of bed bugs from home. To do this effectively:
- Sprinkle some diatomaceous earth powder (food grade) liberally at the feet of the beds and under the bedroom furniture etc. The diatomaceous earth kills bed bugs by shredding their insides and dehydrating them.
- Wash the bedding and linen in very hot water to kill eggs and larvae.
These precautions will help prevent further bed bug bites. If in case you are not able to deal with the infestation, you must call a professional pest control agency to do the same.
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Bed bugs: Six cheap and natural solutions to treat itchy bites at home
BED BUG bites can be extremely irritating, especially if you have a serious infestation and lots of bites, but there are ways to deal with them. David Cross, head of Technical Training at Rentokil Pest Control outlines six ways to treat the itch.
Bed bugs are small insects that live in the cracks and crevices in and around beds, and the recent heatwave has caused a reported increase in their numbers in the UK.
They crawl out at night and bite exposed skin, leaving small, red lumps. Bites can appear from a few minutes after being bitten up to a week or two later, according to the NHS.
Although bed bug bites are painless, they can be very itchy and irritating.
“Bedbugs aren’t dangerous and don’t spread any diseases, but some people experience a reaction to their bites and they can be stressful to live with,” the NHS said.
There are many natural remedies and ‘old wives tales’ on what you can use to help reduce the inflammation and itching associated with bed bug bites
David Cross, Rentokil Pest Control
So what’s the most effective method of treating bed bug bites?
“There are many natural remedies and ‘old wives tales’ on what you can use to help reduce the inflammation and itching associated with bed bug bites,” said Rentokil’s David Cross.
According to Cross, there are six treatments to try, which should be applied after washing the bites with soap and water, before drying them.
This relieves itching and also helps to dry rashes and protect the skin.
Baking soda and water
Make a paste with baking soda and water, and apply it directly to the skin. Let it dry before wiping away with a cotton pad.
Bed bug bites are painless but can be itchy and irritating (Image: Getty Images)
The menthol contained in toothpaste is said to be a good anti-itch remedy. Apply a generous amount to the bite to soothe the burning sensation and relieve the itching.
This provides a mild anaesthetic effect that helps to calm the itching caused by bites.
Both “fresh” Aloe Vera or gel works well against insect bites. The active substances and amino acids present in Aloe Vera help relieve itching and burning sensations.
This has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It is also a natural astringent. Lemon juice can help dry rashes and itchiness while reducing redness and swelling.
As bed bugs are small and only come out at night, they can be difficult to spot and it is therefore not always easy to identify if you have an infestation.
Bed bug bites usually fade in a few days, but there are ways to treat the itch (Image: Getty Images)
Bed bugs often bite in lines or clusters on the skin (Image: Getty Images)
Bed bugs: How to spot them and how to get rid of them
Bed bugs: What are bed bugs? How to spot an infestation and how to get rid of them.
Bed bugs: How to spot them and how to get rid of them
However, one thing which distinguishes them from other biting insects is the pattern in which they bite.
Because they are crawling insects, as opposed to flying insects such as mosquitoes, bed bugs often bite in lines or clusters across the skin.
Bed bug bites also usually occur on exposed areas such as the face, neck, hands or arms.
In more severe cases, bed bug bites may cause a rash or fluid-filled blisters. They can also become infected with bacteria if scratched.
According to the NHS: “The bites usually fade in a few days. If they’re very itchy, you can buy a mild steroid cream (such as hydrocortisone) or antihistamine tablets to relieve the itch.”
“See your GP if you develop signs of a skin infection, including pain, redness and swelling, as you may need antibiotics,” the NHS said.
How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last (Updated for 2019)?
Bed bugs are the nastiest and most stubborn type of household parasites that you can find. Not only are these insects very adept at hiding but they have now become immune to certain chemicals that once were very effective at killing them.
Bed bugs also tend to bite a lot. Although they are not known to carry any dangerous diseases, their bites can result in relatively large welts that can be very itchy and irritating for many days.
In this guide, we shall study the effect of bed bug bites and how to treat them. To do that, however, we first need to find out how bed bugs feed and how long does it take for a bed bug infestation to manifest.
Table of Contents
How Do Bed Bugs Feed
Bed bugs are parasites and feed on blood. Although they can feed on any animal, human blood is their most favored diet. Bed bugs feed on humans by piercing their skin with their sharp and long beak-like proboscis to draw blood from their victim. In order to not make their prey aware of them, bed bugs excrete saliva at the same time. The saliva contains anesthesia that numbs the wound and an anticoagulant that keeps the blood from clotting. This allows the bed bugs to drink from the host as long as they want without waking us up.
The bed bug saliva is the reason why a large majority of bed bug bites become red and inflamed.
When Do Bed Bug Bite?
Like most blood-feeding animals, bed bugs are nocturnal and usually come out during the night. While it is still possible to see an errant bug crawling on your bed sheet in early mornings, during the day, bed bugs prefer to hide inside cracks, crevices, nooks and crannies, cracks in the walls, the seams and inside of your mattress, your pillows, and your box springs. One of their most favorite places is hiding inside mattresses and cracks in the bed as it allows them easy access to their victims.
When people go to sleep at night, these bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide that humans breathe out. They follow their lure and bite their victims. If a bed bug is especially hungry, it may even venture out in the day time and bite any humans reclining on the bed. Under these circumstances, it may also feed on any animal that is occupying the bed.
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
Bed bug bites can easily be mistaken for other small insect bites like mosquitoes and fleas. All of these insects can cause small round bumps on human skin. However, bed bug bites have a few characteristics that can help tell them apart.
The first step in identifying a bed bug bite is to make sure that you are looking at a bite and not just a scratch or a puncture wound from some object. Bed bug bites appear in the form of inflamed and red welts, which are circular with irregularly shaped boundaries. It usually has a darker spot in the center, which marks the site where the bed bug’s proboscis entered your skin. The outer circle is a lighter red compared to the middle.
Bed bug bites are usually clustered together in straight or zigzag lines along the exposed surface of your arms, legs, and face but these insects can also crawl beneath your clothes and bite your back and abdomen.
Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites
Almost all bed bug bite results in severe itchiness and a slight burning sensation. People who are allergic to insect bites may have more severe reactions. The bites may look more enlarged and inflamed. They may also experience hives and blisters around the affected areas.
In some cases, if the rash is severe enough, it can develop into popular eruptions or pustules which are filled with fluid. There have been a tiny number of reports of people suffering from breathing problems, slight fever, flu-like symptoms, swollen mouth and tongue, and irregular heartbeats. Fortunately, these kinds of reactions are extremely rare.
People may also find dead bed bugs flattened by their bodies when they turn over during the night or small spots of blood on their clothing form the bite. There may also be reddish brown spots on the bedding that may indicate bed bug droppings.
How Long Does it Take For Bed Bug Bites to Appear?
Interestingly, unlike many other bites, many people may not feel the effects of a bed bug bite for several days. Some people may not notice they have been bitten at all, while others may notice a burning sensation within a few hours of the bite. A bed bug bite can take up to 14 days to appear, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That makes it even more difficult to diagnose as there is no way of knowing if, when, or where you were bitten.
As mentioned above, many people do not feel the bite at all, while some people who are hypersensitive may develop severe reactions. But the vast majority of the population experiences the relatively mild reaction of the welt with a slight burning sensation and itchiness. In this case, the symptoms usually occur a few hours after the bite and can progress over the next few days.
How Long Do Bed Bug Bite Last?
The time it takes for a bed bug bite to go away varies from person to person. Usually, a bed bug bite may take one or two weeks to heal and will not cause any serious, long term issues. With some home remedies or over-the-counter drugs, you can easily speed up the healing process. However, for some people, a bed bug bite can last for around a month.
Since bed bug bites are extremely itchy, people often tend to scratch them. Although this may give them temporary relief, scratching can damage the affected area and may cause bleeding. If the wound opens, bacteria may spread, posing risk for secondary infections. It will also make it longer for the bed bug bite to heal.
Similarly, people who have an allergic reaction may find that a bed bug bite takes longer to go away since it is larger and more inflamed.
In short, there are many things that you can do to make the bite heal quicker (explained in detail below). On the other hand, other things, like scratching, can make the bed bug bite worse!
Can Bed Bug Bites Result in Scar?
One good thing about bed bug bites is that they do not leave any scar if not aggravated. Usually, bed bug bites heal within a couple of weeks, even without the use of medication or home remedies. Scarring is extremely rare.
How to Alleviate Symptoms and Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites Quickly?
Fortunately, there are many ways to lessen the symptoms of bed bug bites and help your skin heal faster. Naturally, you cannot expect the bite mark to fade within a day but these home remedies and over-the-counter medications can help accelerate the healing process.
Clean the Area
As with all bites, make sure you wash the affected area with antibacterial soap and some warm water. Just keeping the bite clean may hasten the recovery process and make your bite mark fade quickly.
Even if you experience intense itching, refrain from scratching! Instead, put a cold compress on it. You can make a cold compress by taking some ice cubes, wrapping them up in a thin towel and applying it to the site of the bite. Keep the pressure on the bite for periods of 30 seconds. The cold will numb the area, making it less inflamed. Whenever you get the urge to itch, apply ice to the bite instead.
Lemon Juice and Honey
Lemon juice is a natural astringent and has anti-inflammatory properties. Mix some lemon juice in honey and apply the paste to the bite. It can limit itching and promote healing. Do not apply lemon juice to open sores as it can worsen the situation.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and anti-itching properties, which can help lessen the irritation. Pour some apple cider vinegar onto a ball of cotton wool and apply it to the affected area to promote healing.
When it comes to insect bites, one wouldn’t think oatmeal would make the list of things that can help treat bed bug bites. However, oatmeal is actually a wonderful remedy to treat the itchy, inflamed, and irritating bed bug bites. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, oatmeal is an effective skin protectant as it contains a high amount of phenols that are responsible for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Add a few drops of water to oatmeal and make it into a smooth mixture. Apply the paste to the bed bug bite for 10-15 minutes and then rinse it off with cool water.
Since toothpaste contains menthols, a cooling agent, it is quite effective for soothing inflamed and itchy bites. Apply some toothpaste to the bite and wash it off after 10 minutes.
Aloe vera gel contains a high percentage of pectic acids and glucomannans as well as essential vitamins and amino acids, which make it one of the best remedies to soothe a bed bug bite. Take an aloe vera leaf, cut off the spines on its sides and split it into upper and lower halves. Take out the aloe vera gel with the help of a knife and apply it to the bed bug bite. Once you apply the gel, it will sting on the application; however, it will soon provide relief.
Tea contains polyphenols which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can help you reduce inflammation and pain. Once you have made a tea, keep the used tea bags in the fridge. If you get bitten by a bed bug, apply the cool tea bags to the affected area for 15 minutes a few times a day.
You can buy corticosteroid ointments and creams which can help reduce itching and irritation from bed bug bites. These creams can prevent the urge to scratch at bites. This will help decrease the time it takes the bite to heal. For severe cases, a doctor may prescribe you a stronger dose of corticosteroid or inject you with the hormone.
For people who are especially sensitive to bed bug bites, use of antihistamine is a good option. You can buy antihistamine creams and pills easily from any drug store or pharmacy to help alleviate the symptoms of a bed bug bite. For those with severe adverse reactions, a doctor can prescribe a stronger dose.
How Long Does It Take for a Bed Bug Infestation to Manifest?
If you have a long-term infestation in your house, it is very difficult to determine when the bed bugs first came to your house. Usually, a large outbreak means the insects have been living in your home for several months or even years without you noticing. However, if you have a small infestation, it is fairly easy to gauge when it manifested.
In case of small infestations at warm room temperatures (72° F), with lots of bloodmeals nearby, it takes bed bugs about a week to grow out of each phase of their nymph stage with molting. With every molting, the nymph will shed their exoskeleton also known as exuviae or bed bug casings. These casings can be used to determine the approximate time of a bed bug infestation. For example, if a nymph in its fourth stage is found inside a mattress with excuviae of three different sizes, it is reasonable to assume that it has been using your bed as a home for about three weeks.
In similar circumstances, it takes eggs about 10 days to hatch. Therefore, if you find tiny milky-white eggs attached to your furniture, it means your bed has been infested for that long. Some eggs can also be collected and you can estimate the time of when they were laid, once they hatch.
A big indicator of when a bed bug infestation manifested is the number of adult biting insects in the bed. Generally, it takes about seven weeks for a bed bug to complete its lifecycle and turn from an egg into a fully-grown adult, so there shouldn’t be any new adults from eggs during that period. This is assumed under the circumstances that the outbreak started from a few adults and no new bed bugs were introduced to your home during that time.
In essence, there is no surefire way you can estimate when a bed bug infestation started, but you can prescribe some limits and use them to determine an estimate. This type of task is best left to professional exterminators who can determine the age of the infestation by studying bed bug fecal matter, the number of eggs and excuviae, and adult biting insects.
Dealing with bed bugs can be a complete headache. Unfortunately, bed bug infestations have grown quite common and no one really knows why. Although bed bugs bites are quite irritating and unsightly, most people will heal from them in a couple of weeks at most. People who are extra-sensitive to bed bug bites should consider the home remedies mentioned above as well as visit a doctor if their symptoms worsen.
The tips given above can help you deal with bed bug bites without any long-term side effects. Meanwhile, you can hire the services of a professional exterminator or try some bed bug powders and sprays to get rid of these pests from your house.
How to Heal Bed Bug Bites
"Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite" is, when you think about it, a pretty awful thing to say to a child right before you expect her to fall asleep. Bed bug bites are itchy, occasionally painful, and can look like anything from a white raised welt (like a mosquito bite) to a rash, to large red welts on the skin.
If you have bed bugs in your home, you can’t stop them from biting; they live off your blood. But there is a lot you can do to alleviate the discomfort, including getting rid of the bed bugs themselves.
Stop the allergic reaction. Bed bug bites itch because you’re allergic to the substance the bed bug injects into the bite to delay blood clotting. A topical allergy cream such as Benadryl or anti-allergy pills such as Benadryl capsules should help the itching. Apply the cream or take the pills according to the directions on the package.
Cut the itch. For small children or other people who cannot take Benadryl, dab some white vinegar on the bites. The vinegar should dissolve the "itchy" chemical, and the slight sting should stop the itch.
Put the bites on ice. For instant relief, apply an ice pack to the affected area.
Lessen the number of bites. Less bites equal less itching, and there are things you can do to survive until the exterminator arrives. One is to frame your mattress top with double-sided tape. The bed bug will be stuck on the tape on its way to you and can’t bite you. Another solution is to place your mattress in a mattress cover or mattress bag. This is not a mattress pad that keeps the top of your mattress clean and dry; this is a huge fabric or vinyl, zippered sack that covers your entire mattress–and traps the bugs inside where they can’t get to you.
Some sources suggest using calamine lotion on bed bug bites. However, calamine lotion can dry out the surrounding skin and exacerbate the itch.
How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last and How to Heal them Faster
Bed bugs can leave a nasty cluster of bites on your skin that can last for a few days. For some people, however, bed bug bites can cause allergic reaction and symptoms that last much longer. Bed bug bites can cause a red bump to appear on the skin that becomes very itchy and irritating. Although scratching the itchy bump may give some temporary relief, it can cause the bed bug bites to last even longer.
Thankfully, there are many home remedies that can help to recover faster from bed bug bites. Ingredients like tea tree oil, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and witch hazel help to reduce the time bed bug bites last. Even just a cold compress is sometimes enough to quickly stop the itching and reduce the swelling that is left after a bed bug bite.
Of course, bed bug bites will last as long as you have a bug infestation in your bedroom. Therefore, as well as treating bed bug bites, you should take steps to get rid of bed bugs from your home. The faster you can remove a population of bed bugs, the quicker you can stop the pesky bugs biting you during the night.
In this article, you will learn how long bed bug bites last and what you can do to speed up the healing process. You will also find how to treat bed bug bites with natural remedies to ensure that the bed bug bite symptoms don’t last long.
How Long Do Bed Bug Bites Last?
If you notice red bite marks on your legs, face, arms, or back, your first thought will be to know how long the bed bug bites will last. Having bites on your face or arms is not only irritating but can also be very embarrassing. Bed bug bites can cause large bumps or welts that look unsightly and may even become infected.
According to doctors at the National Health Service (NHS), bed bug bites generally last for a few days. The bites are painless, but irritating symptoms can quickly appear. For some people, they wake up in the morning with bite marks from being bitten that night. 1
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the symptoms of bug bites may appear up to 2 weeks after the actual bite. Therefore, it’s important to distinguish if the bites are from bed bugs or from another pest like a flea. 2
If you suffer from an allergic reaction to the bed bug bite, the red itchy bumps may last longer than on other people. The NHS says that, in some severe cases, bed bug bites can cause an itchy rash that blisters and fills with fluid. 1 According to Dr. Steven Doerr on eMedicineHealth, these kinds of bed bug bites will usually last for up to 2 weeks. 3
Unfortunately, bed bug bites will last longer if they become infected. The CDC says that excessive scratching of the bite marks can lead to bacteria getting into the red bump and so the bump becomes infected. 2
How to identify bed bug bites
If you notice that red marks have developed on your skin and they become itchy and swollen, it’s important to know if the red lumps are from a bed bug or another parasite.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that the symptoms of bed bug bites are a red mark or lump with a darker spot in the middle, itching around the infected area, and bite marks that are in a line or cluster. If you notice these kinds of bite marks on your skin, then you should check your sleeping area for signs of bed bugs. 4
To help identify if the bite marks have been left by bed bugs, you should now check all joints and crevices on your bed frame, box springs, furniture, and mattress seams for tell-tale signs of a bed bug infestation.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that physical signs of bed bugs are dark spots on bed linen that can be blood spots or bed bug feces, pale yellow shed skins, and tiny bed bug eggs. You may even notice the tiny biting pests crawling around corners of mattresses and bed frames. You can spot them because they are about the size of an apple seed and will generally hide in dark places. 5
If you find evidence of bed bugs living in your home, then it’s time to take action to remove the critters completely. For this, you may need to use a combination of the best bed bug powders along with effective bed bug sprays.
If you can’t find signs of a bed bug infestation, then your bite marks could have been caused by a flea.
Bed bug bites vs flea bites
Flea bites also cause itchy red bumps to appear on the skin and can last as long as bed bug bites. However, fleas will bite at any time of the day, whereas bed bugs tend to only come out at night to feed on blood. Because bed bug bites can appear up to 2 weeks after the initial bite, they can be difficult to tell apart.
One way to tell the difference between a flea bite and bed bug bite is their location on your body. According to dermatologists on DermNetNZ, flea bites tend to be on the ankles or around your waist. 6 However, bed bugs will bite any part of the body, and bite marks are common on the face, arms and upper legs, whereas flea bites are not.
According to doctors from WebMD, the best way to tell bed bug bites apart from flea bite is to look for physical signs of bed bug activity. 7
Lasting effects of bed bug bites
Bed bug bites have no lasting effect on humans. According to the CDC, bed bugs don’t spread disease and their bite marks will only last about 2 weeks or so. 2
One of the reasons, however, to treat bed bug bites as fast as possible is to reduce the itching and irritation that they cause. Doctors from the NHS warn that excessive scratching of a bed bug bite can cause skin infections, and if this leads to scarring, the bed bug bite scars will last for a long time. 1
How to Recover Faster from Bed Bug Bites
Recovering quickly from bed bug bites is important to reduce the irresistible urge to scratch the bite marks. Usually, doctors recommend hydrocortisone ointments to reduce swelling, inflammation, and itching. Here are some great ways you can make your own bed bug bite ointments. By applying these natural remedies, you can shorten the duration that bed bug bites last.
Cold tea bag compress for bed bug bites
A very simple way to relieve swelling and irritation caused by a bed bug biting is to apply a cold tea bag to the affected skin area. This has a two-fold effect on relieving itching. First, the cold helps to calm nerve endings that are irritated. Secondly, tea contains astringents that help to reduce swelling and itching.
For example, Dr. Patrick Davis on eMedicineHealth says that applying a cold compress to insect bites can help to reduce swelling and calm the affected area. 8
You can use either black tea bag, green tea bags, or chamomile tea for your compress. TheJournal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistrysays that black and green teas contain tannins which act as astringents. 9 Astringents help to reduce inflammation and itching. Also, studies into the healing effect of chamomile have shown that it has an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin similar to hydrocortisone creams. 10
How to use:
To use a cold compress to shorten the duration a bed bug bite lasts, you should do the following:
- Place a tea bag in a cup of boiling water for a few minutes, remove and allow to cool.
- Hold the tea bag to the itchy bed bug bite for 10-15 minutes.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day to relieve the symptoms of a bed bug bite and help it heal faster.
If you have many bites, you can prepare a few tea bags and keep them in the refrigerator. This way you can get instant relief from an itchy bite whenever you need to.
Another natural astringent that you can use to quickly take the itch out of a bed bug bite lump is witch hazel. Also rich in tannins, witch hazel helps to relieve itchiness and inflammation fast from any kind of insect bite.
Witch hazel will also help to prevent any secondary bacterial infection that could hinder recovery from the bed bug bite. TheJournal of Inflammationreports that witch hazel has antiseptic and antioxidant properties. Witch hazel is also frequently used to reduce inflammation from irritated skin. 11
How to use:
It couldn’t be easier to use pure witch hazel to reduce the length of time a bed bug bite lasts. This is what you should do:
- Dip a cotton pad in pure witch hazel and hold to the affected skin area to reduce irritation.
- Hold for around 10 minutes to allow the astringents to go to work and bring down inflammation.
- Use the witch hazel remedy 2-3 times a day to speed up the healing process of bed bug bites and kill the urge to scratch.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
To help bed bug bites to heal quicker, you can apply diluted raw apple cider vinegar to the cluster of bites. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which helps to kill off germs and bacteria from the skin as well as being a great anti-itch remedy. In fact, apple cider vinegar makes a great facial wash to keep your skin healthy and vibrant.
For example, the journalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapypublished information on how to relieve pruritus (itching) naturally. It was found that skin applications that are acidic help to lower pH levels and thus help stop itching. 12
How to use:
To help treat the symptoms of bed bug bites and prevent secondary bacterial skin infections, you should use raw apple cider vinegar that is unprocessed. This is what you should do:
- Dilute equal parts of apple cider vinegar with water.
- Apply the solution to the itchy patches of skin where you have been bitten.
- Leave to dry and then rinse off with warm water.
- Use the apple cider vinegar remedy 2-3 times a day for instant relief for itching caused by bed bug bites.
Alternatively, you can use undiluted lemon juice in place of the ACV bed bug remedy. Lemon juice is also acidic by nature and will help to relieve itchy bumps and patches of red skin. Apply the lemon juice to itchy welts on your skin 2-3 times a day to stop the incessant itching.
Aloe vera is a well-researched medicinal plant that has a wonderful effect on healing irritated skin naturally. A little aloe vera on your bed bug bite marks will help to promote healing and nourish your skin at the same time. Aloe vera also has anti-inflammatory properties to stop skin itching.
Research into aloe vera has found that it can be used to heal itchy bug bites. For example, theSkin Pharmacology and Physiologyjournal reported that aloe vera was more effective than 1% hydrocortisone gel in alleviating skin irritation. 13
How to use:
Aloe vera will help your skin recover faster from bed bug bites and heal any rashes that have developed. You can use gel squeezed from an aloe vera plant or you can buy aloe vera gel that has as few added ingredients as possible. This is how to use aloe vera on bed bug bites:
- Gently massage aloe vera gel into the areas of skin where you have bed bug bites to relieve itchiness and irritation.
- Allow the gel to dry (you don’t have to rinse it off).
- Apply aloe vera gel a few times during the day to help your skin heal and stop itching in the inflamed bumps.
If you have had an unusually acute reaction to bed bug bites, aloe vera will help to reduce the immune response on your skin.
To stop the annoying itching that bed bug bites cause, you can use the soothing power of baking soda. Baking soda helps to reduce the size to bumps and lessen redness where you have been bitten.
According to Dr. David Derrer on WebMD, baking soda is a natural home remedy for bed bug bites. The anti-inflammatory properties of baking soda help to soothe itching, redness, and swelling that bug bites cause. 14
How to use:
It is very easy to make a healing baking soda paste to treat a bed bug bite naturally. All you need to make the home remedy is some baking soda and water.
- Take a tablespoon of baking soda and mix with some water to create a thick paste.
- Apply the healing paste to welts, bumps, and blisters where you have been bitten.
- Leave for 15 minutes to reduce itching and inflammation and rinse off with warm water.
- Apply the remedy in the morning and evening to help cut the length of time bed bug bites last.
Baking soda can also be combined with other ingredients to help keep your skin looking healthy.
If you are unfortunate enough to have large areas of bed bug bites on your skin, oatmeal may be the best home remedy for you. Oatmeal contains healing properties that relieve skin itching, irritation, and inflammation fast. Oatmeal can be made into a paste to be used as an anti-inflammatory treatment for your bed bug bites, or you can add it to a bath if you have lots of bed bug bites on your skin.
Scientific research into its healing properties has revealed that colloidal oatmeal (ground oatmeal) is safe to use to provide natural relief from itching and irritation. In fact, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration lists colloidal oatmeal as a remedy for insect bites. 15 One study in 2015 found that oatmeal has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. It helps to reduce mild to moderate itching when applied to itchy rashes. 16
How to use:
To make a topical application to soothe bed bug bites that are itchy and red, you can add some yogurt to ground oatmeal. Here are the steps to make the bed bug remedy yourself:
- Take a cup of ground oatmeal and mix it with enough plain yogurt to create a paste.
- Apply the oatmeal paste to part of your body where you have bed bug bites.
- Leave for 20 minutes to soothe the itchy bug bites and bring down inflammation.
- Repeat 2 times a day for long-lasting relief from your bed bug bites.
If you have large areas of bed bug bites or they are in hard to reach places, you can add a cup of ground oatmeal to your bath. Bathing in oatmeal is also a great way to stop all-over body itching. A bath with oatmeal will not only stop your itching but the bath will help to relieve the stress from dealing with the bed bug problem.
You can use honey as a spot treatment to heal bed bug bites quicker and reduce the time they last. Honey is a powerful natural antibiotic that can be used if your bed bug bites show signs of a bacterial skin infection. The soothing effect of raw honey will also assist in calming itchiness and prevent scratching.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic report that there are some studies which suggest that honey can be used as a topical anti-itch treatment. 17 Natural honey also adds a protective barrier on the skin which can help prevent the bed bug bites getting worse.
How to use:
The best kind of honey to use is Manuka honey for its powerful anti-inflammatory effects. However, you can use any honey as long as it is raw and unprocessed.
- Take a little honey and dab it onto your itchy bed bug bite marks.
- Gently massage the honey to help relieve itching and soothe inflammation.
- Use as necessary throughout the day whenever you get the urge to scratch the bed bug bites.
One great and cheap way to reduce the time itchy bed bug bites last is to apply sliced cucumber. Cucumbers are full of vitamins and minerals that help to keep your skin healthy and gorgeous.
Cucumber has a cooling effect on the skin and will calm and help stop a never-ending bed bug bite itch. For example, the journalFitoterapiareported that cucumber seeds have a cooling effect on the skin. Cucumbers also have enzymes that help to alleviate skin irritation and reduce swelling. 18
How to use:
For instant relief from the irritating effects of bed bug bites, this is how you can use cucumbers:
- Take a cucumber from the refrigerator and cut it into slices
- Place the sliced cucumber on the bed bug bites to quickly get rid of your itchy symptoms.
- Apply every time you get the urge to scratch the itchy swollen bite marks.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an amazing essential oil that can help reduce inflammation and itching from a bed bug bite. Tea tree oil has many uses in skin care and helping to prevent skin infections and scratching itchy patches of skin is just one of them. Tea tree oil can also be added to coconut oil to provide even more relief to itchy skin.
TheBritish Journal of Dermatologyreported that tea tree oil can help treat histamine-induce skin inflammation. It was found that tea tree oil successfully soothed and treated skin inflammation and itchiness that is the result of allergic reactions. 19
How to use:
To use tea tree oil to help your skin recover faster from bed bug bites, this is what you should do:
- Add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil to create a healing ointment.
- Apply a small amount of the tea tree oil remedy to the red rashes and clusters of bed bug bites.
- Use the ointment 2-3 times a day to promote healing and help get rid of your bed bug bites quicker.
- Repeat until all redness, swelling, and itchiness have gone from the bitten areas.
You can also use tea tree oil on its own as a spot treatment for insect bites. You can dab a drop of tea tree oil onto the red itchy bump to reduce swelling.
Alternatively, you can substitute tea tree oil for lavender oil and apply to your skin. A study in 2015 found that lavender oil contains compounds that are just as effective as some anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs. Lavender essential oil helps to reduce skin inflammation and inflammatory responses. 20
When to See a Doctor
In the rare occasions that home remedies don’t help to get rid of itching and swelling in a bed bug bite and they last for too long, you should visit your doctor or dermatologist. Also, doctors from the Mayo Clinic recommend visiting your doctor if many bed bug bites induce a severe allergic reaction or you notice anything unusual around the site of the bed bug bites. 4
Read my other related articles:
- NHS. Bedbugs.
- CDC. Bed bugs FAQ.
- eMedicineHealth. The symptoms of bed bug bites.
- Mayo Clinic. Bedbugs. Symptoms.
- EPA. How to find bed bugs.
- DermNetNZ. Flea bites.
- WebMD. How do I know if I’ve been bitten by a bed bug?
- eMedicineHealth. Insect bites.
- Phytojournal. Tannins are astringent.
- OWM. 2011;57(5):28-36.
- J Inflamm (Lond). 2011; 8: 27.
- Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2010 Jul; 11(10): 1673–1682.
- Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2008;21(2):106-10
- WebMD. Baking soda: what can it do for you?
- NCBI. Colloidal oatmeal powder.
- J Drugs Dermatol. 2015 Jan;14(1):43-8.
- MayoClinic. Honey.
- Fitoterapia. 2013 Jan;84:227-36
- Br J Dermatol. 2002 Dec;147(6):1212-7.
- An Acad Bras Cienc. 2015 Aug;87(2 Suppl):1397-408.